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African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center

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Elder Omari Tahir and the community re-initiated the historic occupation of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center on June 19, 2020 at Colman School. You can support this project by making donations which will be used for programming, supplies and implementation of the original project.

Any and all entities obstructing the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center’s rightful control over our land and infrastructure are asked to please cease and desist from such obstruction. Former obstructors will be welcomed to participate in our project under the AAHM&CC’s leadership, as long as they are willing to do so. We are here for justice, not revenge.

African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center 

The mission of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center is to build a world class institution that honors the past, embraces the present and inspires and facilitates the molding of the future. 

The African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center (AAHMCC) was founded to promote and preserve the history, culture, traditions and achievements of African Americans. It will serve as a focal point for African Americans of all generations as well as the broader community to celebrate and to share an appreciation and reverence for the African diaspora, through exhibits, tours, research, educational programs, performances, cultural activities and social services.

The effort to build the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center was a proactive response to the negative conditions existing in the African American community. These conditions, including disproportionate levels of broken homes, crime, academic failure, drugs, violence, incarceration, unemployment and lack of economic development are a direct result of the cultural and socioeconomic damages caused by the African Holocaust commonly referred to as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the institutionalized oppression of African peopled that followed.

The museum will promote an understanding of the distinct and unique contributions made by Africans and African Americans locally, nationally and internationally. Simultaneously, it will provide and house educational programs in the arts and heritage disciplines that foster positive, experiential learning alternatives for youth, and social services for people of all ages.

As a repository for the stories and artifacts of African American culture, the museum represents the identity of a people whose contributions to the economic, political and cultural life of the region, nation and world have been under-represented and undervalued.

The facility will include traditional gallery and multi-media exhibit space, state of the art audio and video production facilities, community based radio and television production facilities, movie theater, youth and community businesses, natural health clinic, bookstore, childcare/independent school and more. Through innovative program models in arts and technology seek to address issues plaguing our youth including low academic achievement, crime, violence and incarceration.

The driving principles of our vision are:

Restoration, healing, growth and prosperity for the Black community
Honoring past and embracing future by cultivating the history makers of today and tomorrow.
A Brief History of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center

Establishing a world class museum and cultural center to preserve the art, history culture, traditions and achievements of African Americans has been a dream of Seattle’s African American Community for many years.

Efforts to establish an African American Heritage Museum & Culture Center in Seattle began in 1969 and came to the forefront in 1981 when Omari Tahir-Garrett and Isaiah Edwards led a community based coalition in opposing the construction of a police precinct in the heart of Seattle’s historically Black Central District, proposing a positive cultural institution instead. After successfully blocking the construction of the police precinct, the community turned its attention to the recently closed Colman school as an ideal future home of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center. When the mayor began to go back on his commitment to developing the museum, a dedicated few took action.

On Nov. 23, 1985 the longest recorded act of civil disobedience in U.S. history began when Omari Tahir, Earl Debnam, Charlie James, Michael Greenwood, Lawrence Robinson and Greg Anderson occupied the abandoned Colman Elementary School, demanding that the building be developed into the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center in Seattle, WA.


  • Julius Bertoncin
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $500 
    • 3 yrs
  • Michael Augustine
    • $40 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $40 
    • 3 yrs
  • Ingrid Slade
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs


Leith Kahl
Seattle, WA

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